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UAS Mountaineering Students Complete Successful Climb of Emperor Peak, Juneau Icefield Traverse

at over 6,800 feet, the Peak is the highest mountain in the Taku Range

Date of Press Release: April 20, 2017

Katie McCaffrey approaches the Summit of Emperor Peak on April 15, the Taku Towers are behind.
Katie McCaffrey approaches the Summit of Emperor Peak on April 15, the Taku Towers are behind.

From April 4-April 17, ten Outdoor Studies Mountaineering students successfully climbed and skied wilderness peaks on and around the Juneau Icefield.  On April 8th, the group reached 2,000 feet on Goat Mountain, a satellite of the larger Mt Ernest Gruening, located to the North of Herbert Glacier, before turning around with inclement weather.  On April 14th, the group of eleven flew to the Taku Range of the Juneau Icefield with Ward Air, climbing Snowdrift Peak.  The following day, the group climbed the North Face of Emperor Peak (6,805 ft), the highest mountain of the Taku Range.  April 16 and 17th involved ski travel home via the South Branch of the Mendenhall to West Glacier Trail.  

The mountaineering course is part of a leadership skills progression embedded in the University of Alaska Southeast Outdoor Studies program, an interdisciplinary and intensive program offered by the Department of Humanities within the School of Arts and Sciences that offers students a variety of degree options ranging from certificates to baccalaureate level awards. Program participants practice risk management and environmental stewardship in small groups and in high consequence outdoor settings, such as the high-latitude alpine and ocean environments of Southeast Alaska.  Graduates regularly go on to guide and lead groups in remote places across the globe.  

The Mountaineering course was led by ODS Assistant Professor and Program Director Forest Wagner.  Mr. Wagner was critically injured by a brown bear one year ago.  Forest happily reports full recovery from the bear mauling, and offers his continued gratitude for the overwhelming support he from Juneau and communities across Alaska.

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Press Release Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
(907) 796-6509